War is very freighting and horrific. There are various obstacles that soldiers must face while on the battlefield, Many of these are physical and psychological. The dangers may be catching a bullet, dying alone, hunger, or solitude. Liam O'Flaherty brings theses issues to reality in "The Sniper." O'Flaherty suggests the horrors of war by presenting both its physical dangers and psychological dangers.
The snipers location presents physical danger and psychological danger. The story is placed in Dublin Ireland during the 1920's, when the civil war breaks out with the fight between the Free State and The British Commonwealth. "Dublin lay enveloped in darkness" His location on top of the roof near O'Connel bridge makes him an easy target. "Almost immediately, a bullet flattened itself against the parapet." The sniper is almost killed instantly by another sniper from across the street when he lights his cigarette, the only light in the darkness.
His location has made it hard for him to eat because he is preoccupied with his job as a sniper. He eats a sandwich hungrily and has not not eaten since morning, because of his excitement form the war. He then turns to drinking whisky from his flask and enjoys his drink before going back to his devotion of watching for enemies The Sniper continues to watch and sits in solitude, as every move he makes he has to watch himself. " There was a flash and a bullet whizzed over his head." He is even I danger as he carefully peers over the parapet. Because of the war, the sniper feels as if everyone is out to get him, Below a women is killed after she has been seen pointing to the roof top where the sniper lay. The sniper thinks she is an informer. This shows his anxiety for war and the psychological affect on the sniper . The sniper shoots the lady with out contemplating anything.
The sniper has been shot suddenly from across the roof top by another sniper. "The sniper thought the noise would wake the dead." He was hit in his forearm and did not realize it until he went to pick up his gun, "He couldn't lift it. His forearm was dead." The blood from his wound is now gushing out of his arm and he eels nothing, " There was no pain just dead-end sensation, as his arm has been cut off." Although he has been physically hurt he feels no pain. He only desires to return a direct hit to the other sniper across the street. The snipers eyes have a "cold gleam", when he realizes that the other sniper is dead.
The war has taken a toll on the snipers physical and psychological state of mind. He becomes stressed and tired. "He began to gibber to himself, cursing the war, cursing himself, cursing everybody." After killing his target, he then goes over across the roof top and looks at the dead body. "The sniper turned over the dead body, and looked into his brothers face." He walks away and does not feel anything, The war has made him numb and emotion less when finding out he shoots his own brother.